We refer to laminate flooring as a moisture-resistant product. It’s not waterproof. That doesn’t mean it’s not suitable to use in kitchens though. Our 12mm high density fibre (HDF) flooring, for example, has wax edging on it. So, even if you spilled 30 litres of water on it, the liquid wouldn’t be able to reach the core of the floorboard.
Is it really laminate?
There are a lot of discrepancies between different flooring on the market, and it can cause confusion. Laminate flooring is sometimes referred to as a type of hybrid flooring because it looks the same. Hybrid flooring is 100% waterproof, but the laminate alternative is only moisture resistant. It’s easy to see where the misunderstanding can happen.
There’s also confusion between contemporary laminate flooring and the flexible product, called loose lay, which can be stuck directly onto a concrete subfloor or timber floor. Loose lay is waterproof, but there’s a massive difference in the quality of loose lay in the market. It’s a good idea to chat with one of our salespeople and ask them what’s most suitable for your needs before you make a purchase.
Coping with moisture
The reason laminate flooring can’t claim to be waterproof is that the inner core is made from wood fibres. Of course, wood fibres expand once they get wet, whereas, in vinyl or loose lay or hybrid flooring, there are no wood fibre components in it. It’s either a plastic composite or it’s a limestone composite within the inner core, which makes it completely waterproof.
For wet areas like bathrooms and laundries, vinyl or hybrid flooring are recommended. We’ve also tested 12mm high density fibre (HDF) laminate flooring against medium density fibre (MDF) laminate flooring to see how much swelling occurs when soaked in buckets of water. The 12mm HDF flooring wins hands down.
Things to watch out for
Something to watch out for is that its status as moisture resistant means laminate isn’t considered weatherproof by manufacturers. This means if it’s used on an outside deck, even if it’s undercover, it won’t be covered by the warranty. It’s for internal use only.
When you’re cleaning your flooring, just use a spray mop with a microfibre pad, with plain water. You don’t want any chemicals reacting with the flooring and damaging it. This method exposes the boards to very little water, and the wax edging is there to protect it, so washing your floors isn’t going to harm them in any way. Some manufacturers recommend using their own brand of cleaning products, but that’s the only time you’d ever consider using anything other than water on your laminate.
Visit our showroom for premium products
Karma Flooring is a direct laminate flooring importer based in Bayswater, Melbourne. You save because you can buy directly from our factory, but we’ll never offer you anything but the best product and service, and the best price.
Come and have a look at our vast range of contemporary flooring products or give us a call. We’ll help you find the perfect laminate flooring for your budget and lifestyle.